A story about death and life in a dismal village not very far from Far Otterby. Starring a labrador. Here's a kind of Foreword.
My pen is jammed with coppery ink staining the base. The laptop, which I brought upstairs ten minutes ago, is gone. My sons jammed the pen and my husband took the laptop. As I run the pen under the bathroom tap, spattering the sink and my hand with ink, I feel suddenly sad and sidelined at this disregard. I don’t feel unimportant because I have a developed sense of my importance. I am aggrieved and resentful and I want to criticise my family as high-handedly as possible. I want to read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own again.
I have a room of my own and a stalwart desk piled with watercolour sketchbooks and oil paints and brushes. But the desk is jammed against the window and the chair against the desk because last night my room accommodated the sofa bed for an overnight guest. The sheets and pillows are gone, though the duvet still peeps over the sofa back and tumbling files of schoolwork are stacked under shelves packed with photographs, sports books and children’s books.
On a small lamp table is a heap of notebooks, mine this time, with jotted ideas interspersing the shopping lists and notes on parents’ evenings and school uniform necessities. Like the files, they cannot be discarded. In one of them I have begun a journal, writing with turquoise and purple pens and filling the margins with stars and doodlings and spirals.